LeVar Burton today officially was named Grand Marshal for the 2022 Rose Parade. He joins a celebrated group of outstanding people which has included presidents, movie stars, Olympians, and astronauts.
Tournament of Roses President Robert Miller — prevented by the pandemic from revealing the choice last year after the Parade was postponed — finally was able to revealed the closely guarded secret with fanfare on the front steps of Tournament House.
“LeVar Burton perfectly epitomizes this year’s theme.” Miller shared. “The 2022 theme is ‘Dream. Believe. Achieve.’ and celebrates education and the determination of those who travel the path from dream to reality. I am proud to represent the 935 volunteer members in welcoming LeVar to share in the joy of promise and healthy possibilities for a new year.”
Burton, after introducing his wife Stephanie to the crowd gathered at Tournament House in Pasadena for the announcement, said he was “thrilled” to accept the offer to serve as grand marshal.
“I come from a family, a home (where) the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game to follow has been a part of our family for years and years,” he said. “Steph and I have continued that tradition. … We are over the moon and beyond thrilled to be part of this amazing event.”
Burton noted that the announcement was made on National Teachers Day.
“So if you know a teacher, hug one, if you’re vaccinated,” he said.
Burton has entertained generations; as former host and executive producer of PBS’s “Reading Rainbow,” starring as Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed television mini-series “Roots” and as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation television series.
He has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards along with 27 Daytime Emmy nominations, culminating in 21 wins. During its 26-year run, 1983 to 2009, “Reading Rainbow” was not only one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history but won more than 25 awards including 10 for outstanding series and the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award.
Burton has also been nominated twice for the Spoken Word Grammy Award and won in 1999, for “The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.”
Burton joins a lineup of venerable recent Grand Marshals:
2021 – None (Parade canceled by COVID-19 pandemic.)
2020 – Laurie Hernández, Rita Moreno & Gina Torres
2019 – Chaka Khan
2018 – Gary Sinise
2017 – Greg Louganis, Janet Evans and Allyson Felix
2016 – Ken Burns